Virginia Commonweatlh University
Injury & Violence Program
injury & violence prevention images
After the Party's Over
AED — Awareness Education Documentation
Bridging the Gap
GR-ACY — Get Real Alcohol Choice & Consequences for Youth
Project EMPOWER — Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Assault Prevention
Project IMPACT — Impacting Minors Perceptions And Cognizant attitudes toward Trauma

Project EMPOWER —
Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Assault Prevention & Intervention

CALL HOTLINE: 1-800-838-8238



Project EMPOWER is a multi-disciplinary initiative dedicated to enhancing  prevention and Intervention services to individuals and their family who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) or sexual assault (SA).

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is defined as a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors that may  include inflicted physical injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressing social isolation, stalking, deprivation, intimidation, and threats. These behaviors are perpetrated by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent, and are aimed at establishing control by one partner over another.


Project EMPOWER seeks to reduce re-injury of victims through support and resources while raising awareness of intimate partner violence (IPV) within the medical setting and increase patient screening amongst practitioners through:

  • healthcare provider training focused on how to identify, screen, and refer patients experiencing IPV or sexual assault
  • IPV awareness activities in the hospital and community
  • comprehensive direct care services to patients and families


  • Confidential care from a skilled forensic nurse team
  • Emotional support provided  throughout the hospital experience from care coordination to a trained community-based advocate to assist with safety planning and obtaining a protective order when needed
  • Access to community resources, emergency financial assistance —

    • VCU Intimate Partner Crisis Fund provides monetary assistance and community resources for persons experiencing a domestic or sexual violence related crisis. Learn More


  • IPV and Sexual Assault training  opportunities
  • Resources and support from the  Project EMPOWER Team
  • Community Outreach


Project EMPOWER is supported by partnerships with local Fire & EMS, Commonwealth's Attorneys, Police, Victim Witness, and Advocates.

The following organizations offer emergency shelter, confidential counseling and advocacy. They are always available to provide assistance.

  • YWCA of Richmond | 804-643-0888
  • Safe Harbor Henrico | 804-287-7877
  • Hanover Safe Place | 804-752-2702 or toll-free 888-370-SAFE


Caitlin Shiflett, MSW |
Jean Anne Cheek RN SANE-A CN IV |

VCU Medical Center | Department of Surgery
Division of Acute Care Surgical Services
Injury and Violence Prevention Program
contact IVPP

Date Last Modified: March 25, 2014
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